Multiple sources have told me that the players of the USHL Omaha Lancers are planning to boycott this weekend’s game because of incomprehensible turbulence surrounding the team.
At the center of the controversy is the reported team budget cuts that caused players not to pay for road meals-which is standard in the top youth leagues in the United States. Most importantly, players are said to be forced to pay for their hockey sticks and tape-this is also the USHL standard.
This is important because USHL is the top developer of NCAA talent, which means that its players cannot earn any income for joining the team. This is what makes USHLers universities eligible, not those who take Canada’s main junior route, where children can receive financial allowances.
“All equipment is paid for here,” said an executive from another team. “The cost of participating in the USHL competition is zero.”
Most importantly, the video service is said to have deprived players and coaches of important teaching tools. According to multiple sources, all these layoffs have resulted in a deadlock between coach/general manager Chad Cassidy and the team’s president and owner.
What happened next is still a bit vague, but some sources claim that Cassidy was fired last week and was only asked to stay behind the bench because the Gunners no longer have enough coaches to substitute. Strangely, Omaha is actually an excellent team this season, having won 7 of the past 10 games-including their two games last weekend.
In a press release issued this afternoon, the Lancers announced the hiring of interim coach Gary Graham, who had served in the Indiana Small Fuel Program under the age of 18. Head coach). The team also claimed that Cassidy had resigned to “see other opportunities.”
After this ordeal, Cassidy received a lot of public praise, including Providence College coach Nate Liman and the former player’s parents.
The Gunners have recently undergone a lot of personnel changes, and Cassidy himself is only in the first year of the organization. President David DeLuca was the captain of the Las Vegas Fire Department before joining Lancers as the head of business development in 2017, but was appointed team president less than a year later. He is clearly a long-term personal friend of the owner Koots DiCesare.
In all the chaos, the family adviser received a call from the player seeking advice, and it might be possible to trade with other USHL franchises.
According to Brad Schlossman of the North Dakota State Fox Herald, other coaches and personnel have now resigned to support their players and Cassidy. More on the development of this story. Calls to Cassidy, Lancers and USHL have not yet been answered.